Sunken tank in Jordan

Wreck diving

There is just something so intriguing about diving a wreck and this need not be limited to ships alone. This tank wreck in the Red Sea is an amazing dive.

Sunken tank in Jordan
This tank was placed as an artificial reef by order of the King of Jordan, who is a diving fanatic!

Wrecks all have a story to tell. Some are there from navigational errors (like the Kakapo on Long Beach, Noordhoek), some from mechanical faults, some from war battles (like the HNMS Bato off Long Beach, Simon’s Town), many of them as a result of bad weather (like the Clan Stuart)  and some wrecks are the result of a planned scuttling to form an artificial reef (for example, the Smitswinkel Bay wrecks).

No matter how it got there, exploring a wreck is fascinating and within months of its arrival marine life forms move in and make the nooks and crannies home. Corals, sponges, sea anemones – to name a few – all appear and grow within months of the wreck’s arrival. Wrecks can sometimes become home to more species than you see on a nearby reef purely due to the wreck’s size, giving juveniles far more protection from rough weather than a reef can.

Despite the allure of the many opening and overhangs, wreck diving has its own set of hazards and without proper training it is important to stay out of any overhead environments. It is also critical to avoid becoming entangled in the myriad of cables, ropes, chains and often fishing tackle that can sometimes be draped over a wreck. When you start wreck diving you will most likely be content to swim around the outside and be awed by the size of some wrecks, once majestically sailing the seas, brightly painted and full of noise and life. Now they lie silent, rusty and overgrown, but still teeming with life.

A powerful dive light is a must if you want to peer inside holes and hatches, but be wary as your light can often disturb some huge creature who will buzz by you startled and dazed by your light, as you are blocking the exit.

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Tony

Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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